27.02.2024 Article


27.02.2024 LISTEN

Currently the suffering masses in Ghana are struggling against poverty, high cost of living and a myriad of dysfunctional fiscal policies. Abstruse and mind boggling is the refusal of the Government to set up Crises Management Team to handle the extraordinary economic malaise. The “driver`s” arrogant and uninspiring posture betray the disrespect and lack of concern he has for the desperation of the suffering people of Ghana. According to Caucus for Democratic Governance, Ghana (CDG-GH), the “driver`s” affluent lifestyle shows no causal relations to the ever increasing economic damages.

No one is in control. GPRTU has thrown its towel. Transport owners have left loose their “drivers` mates” to increase prices and taxes and beat up passengers while the inept transport Minister sleeps on the job. People are beaten up and killed by trotro mates because they cannot afford increases in lorry fares. The sick and old people under medication, are dying in their numbers because the Government cannot pay NHIS subsidies and so the pharmacies do not give out medicines. Ghanaians now cannot afford two square meals a day and some have to undergo fasting , rather unwillingly.

Macroeconomic Figures
Macroeconomic figures are adding up to damaging levels. The high rocketing fuel prices, coupled to the fast depreciating cedi and the high food prices, are factors aggravating the already unbearable hardship. General inflation is 40.7 % ; and food inflation is 122%. The prices of fuel has risen by 600% within two months. A gallon of fuel is now selling at 23 ghc/l; and a full tank V8 cost almost 4,000 ghc. Imagine how much money is spent on the fleet of V8 of appointees per day? A lean number of Ministers and appointees would certainly serve a good purpose – but who is to bell the cat? It is a paradox that the outcry of suffering Ghanaians, does not impress the insensitive President. At the height of the economic mess, he was travelling on extra luxury planes costing 400,000 dollars an hour, while poverty swallows the people. Over the years we have lost millions of dollars to corruption and mismanagement. This could have been used in creating jobs. We have the highest number of Ministers and presidential Staffers in the world. One of the badly managed Ministries, the Agric Ministry has more than one Minister and several Deputy Ministers. The presidential budget rose from 650 million in 2016 to over 3.2 billion ghc during Akufo Addo`s era. Any advice to cut down on cost and size of Government has always fallen on deaf ears. Is this deliberate? Is it an attempt to punish Ghanaians? We need answers to these questions.

Meanwhile increment in pay remains low and the jobless and unemployment rate is now 14.7 %. That is 48 million people are jobless and unemployed. Plethora of Companies sadly, are folding up and small entrepreneurs are struggling to break even. The cedi is the fastest depreciating currency in the world and Ghana has the highest inflation in Africa.

Economic Turbulence
The economic turbulence, facilitated by depreciating cedi, the rapidly rising cost of living and fuel hikes, are all the result of creative accounting by Ken Ofori Atta; who sought to obliterate the true quantum of the National debt, to enable him to borrow more. As a result of the mess created by Ken Ofori Atta, Ghana now has a debilitating National debt of 600 billion ghc; out of which his Data Bank collected over 500 million ghc as agent. Ironically, the man who has caused the present economic mess, has been promoted as financial advicer to the President in a reshuffle. Besides, wrong figures he sent to Parliament were often different from those sent to IMF ; thus exposing his dishonest character and his desire to rape Ghana.Why will the President still make Ofori Atta, the cause of economic mess and fiscal incompetence, his financial adviser? Can it be that billions of Ghana`s borrowed money spent by Jane Mensa, the EC- Chairperson to get Akufo Addo reelected, was “pushed” by Ofori Atta ?

Economic brains in Ghana have often spoken against excessive borrowing, printing of currency and recommended the need for fiscal space. In spite of these warnings, the BoG lost 6 billion GHC?. Why did the BoG print billions of cedis for the Ghana Government to create high inflation and high cost of living? There was nothing on fiscal discipline to ease the price hikes. Bawumia could not communicate any objective and purpose of issues to salvage the economy. He could not outline measures to bring confidence and credibility to the people of Ghana. Indeed we have no leadership.All the ”driver” could leave on our minds eye was the empty, unscientific rhetoric “money does not like noise”. As usual, the “mate” in his overdose of confidence, has exhibited careless abundance of stubborn ineptitude; signaling arrogance and pride. The “driver” and his “mate” have lost control and must resign.

Dr E.K.Hayford Executive Director, CDG-GH